BUHAGIAR BRACE LIFTS SKY BLUES PAST WANDERERS IN FIVE-GOAL THRILLER

Two goals from Trent Buhagiar have helped Sydney FC to an important 3-2 derby win over Western Sydney Wanderers at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium on Saturday night.

Two second-half goals in five minutes from the lightning-quick attacker ensured Sydney turned Sky Blue after the season’s third Derby and moved his side into fourth on the ALM table.

Though able to tie things up once through Tomer Hemed’s 17th-minute strike, Tate Russell’s effort in the 75th was not enough to spark a Wanderers fightback; late appeals for a handball penalty were ignored and a series of chances denied.  

Stuck in tenth, Wanderers will have a week to stew before they host Brisbane next Saturday.

Sydney face a short turnaround before a meeting with league-leaders Melbourne City on Wednesday.

Inverse to their slow start against Macarthur mid-week, Le Fondre’s spinning left-footed effort within 120 seconds had the hosts flying.

But the Wanderers would force parity 15 minutes later through Hemed’s sweetly taken volley following Milos Ninkovic’s failed attempt to clear a corner.

Both sides would have their chances to score as the half progressed but there was a level of inspiration lacking from either side’s attacks.

It took a moment of fortune in the 66th for the deadlock to finally be broken when a cross from Kosta Barbarouses ricocheted off Le Fondre and sweetly into the path of Buhagiar to fire home.

Class, not luck, then provided his second five minutes later when Paulo Retre advanced forward and laced a perfect ball through that Buhagiar collected before cutting back to lose his marker and fire home.

Moments after being introduced, Russel’s headed effort minutes later made it 3-2 but Wanderers were denied in their subsequent late push.

Rhyan Grant saw red as emotions bubbled over, but appeals for a handball penalty against Sydney defender James Donachie went begging.